Pulmicort Flexhaler (Budesonide)
Pulmicort Flexhaler (Budesonide) Dosage and Side Effects
PULMICORT treats a variety of conditions, including diseases of the intestines or bowels like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, lung diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and allergic rhinitis (hay fever). PULMICORT is also prescribed for cats who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) because it not only helps relieve their symptoms, but also has fewer side effects than other steroid treatments.
Proper Use of this medication
If you suspect an overdose of PULMICORT, you should contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.
You can get in touch with a poison control center.
Missed Dose of PULMICORT
If you miss a dose of PULMICORT, try to take it as soon as you remember.
If it's almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time.
Do not take two doses of the medication at the same time.
Common side effects of PULMICORT include:
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation
- Dizziness and headache
- Upset stomach or stomach pain, gas, and bloating
- General or joint pain
- Low blood levels of potassium
- Weakened immune system
- Bladder or kidney infection
Serious side effects of PULMICORT include but are not limited to:
- Cushing's syndrome (more likely with long-term use)
- Decreased function of adrenal glands (more likely with long-term use and higher doses)
- Pressure in the space between the skull and the brain
- Life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis in which you may have trouble breathing, the throat closes up, and your skin breaks out into hives
Warnings and Precautions
No prescription drug that contains PULMICORT as its only active ingredient carries a black-box warning.
However, Symbicort, an inhaler that contains both PULMICORT and formoterol, carries a black-box warning because of the health risks associated with formoterol.
You should not take PULMICORT if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients, or if have any of the following conditions:
- High blood pressure or congestive heart failure (CHF)
- Liver problems
- Eye conditions like glaucoma or cataracts
- Ongoing infection
- Mental or mood conditions
Also, it's important to note that children shouldn't take the sustained release (SR) or long-acting capsules of PULMICORT.
Talk to your doctor before taking PULMICORT if you:
- Are taking sustained-release PULMICORT and are about to have surgery
- Have osteoporosis
- Have tuberculosis
Pregnancy and PULMICORT
PULMICORT that is taken by mouth falls under the FDA's Pregnancy Category C, meaning that harm to a developing fetus can't be ruled out.
Inhaled forms of PULMICORT fall under Pregnancy Category B, meaning that it's unlikely to harm a developing fetus.
Regardless, you should tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before taking this medication.
PULMICORT is found in breast milk. Talk to your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed before or while taking PULMICORT.
Interactions with this medication
It's always important to share with your doctor and pharmacist all of the medications you are taking.
This includes prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications, supplements like vitamins and other dietary supplements (nutritional shakes, protein powders, etc.), herbals, and any illegal or recreational drugs.
You should not take PULMICORT if you are taking the following drugs:
- Theracrys (BCG live intravesical)
- Medications for viruses like Norvir (ritonavir) or Incivek (telaprevir)
- Diabetes medications like Byetta or Bydureon (exenatide), Precose (acarbose), Amaryl (glimepiride), Diabeta or Glynase (glyburide), and Glucotrol or Glucotrol XL (glipizide)
- Water pills like Micronizide or Zide (hydrochlorothiazide), bumetanide, Diuril (chlorothiazide), Edecrin (ethacrynic acid), and Zaroxolyn (metolazone)
- Cordarone, Pacerone, or Nexterone (amiodarone) or Multaq (dronedarone)
If you are taking the PULMICORT brand Uceris, you should avoidmedications for fungal infections like Extena or Ketozole (ketoconazole) and Sporanox or Omnel (itraconazole).
PULMICORT and Alcohol
Because both PULMICORT and alcohol can cause dizziness, taking the two together may make it worse.
You should avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medication.
PULMICORT and Grapefruit Juice
You should avoid eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice while taking PULMICORT.
Grapefruit juice slows down the body's ability to break down PULMICORT, which could cause PULMICORT levels in the blood to rise dangerously high.
Other related products
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.